The Gendering of Digital Media Knowledge


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These slides are from a talk I gave in September 2010 for 'Cardiff Girl Geek Dinners' in which we discussed the gendered norms, stereotypes and social systems that coexist within professions such as digital design; and in wider society around digital knowledge, learning and use. Key message: Digital design - knowledge, learning and use is highly gendered. To alter it, we have to change the gendered frameworks within which it is embedded - the norms, stereotypes and social systems.

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The Gendering of Digital Media Knowledge

  1. 1. 10/31/10 1 1© Kelly Page 1(cc) Kelly Page Dr. Kelly Page Lecturer in Digital Media Marketing Cardiff Business School T: @drkellypage T: @caseinsights FB: LinkedIn: Dr. Kelly Page Presentation for: 23rd September 2010 The Gendering of Digital Media Knowledge Is it really all about Sex? 2© Kelly Page Who would you describe if I asked you to describe a typical: Web Designer? Games Designer? Systems Architect? Database Developer?
  2. 2. 10/31/10 2 3© Kelly Page What do you think of when I say the word: Gender? 4© Kelly Page What do you think of when I say the word: Sex?
  3. 3. 10/31/10 3 5© Kelly Page Biological Gender [Sex] 6© Kelly Page Social Gender Biological Gender [Sex] Gender Norms Gender Stereotypes Gender Identity Social Institutions
  4. 4. 10/31/10 4 7© Kelly Page Gender Norms What is appropriate ‘normal’ behaviour for a man and a women? 8© Kelly Page Gender Stereotypes Hypotheses about sex differences which influence our expectations of men and women and our evaluation of their work, qualities and abilities!
  5. 5. 10/31/10 5 9© Kelly Page Gender Identity An individuals notion of her/himself. His/her personal identity. Influenced by gender norms and stereotypes! 10© Kelly Page Social Institutions are Gendered Educational System. Media. Families. Labour Market. Workplace.
  6. 6. 10/31/10 6 11© Kelly Page However … 12© Kelly Page Not only is digital media complex (not just complicated) So too is the gendering of the people that use and design in digital media and the social context within which this occurs.
  7. 7. 10/31/10 7 13© Kelly Page   Web sample recruited (n=2077)   Significant difference   No WSD/M experience exhibiting: •  Lower mean scores for actual web knowledge [memory] •  Lower perceived web knowledge [confidence] •  Lower perceived web usability [complicated/useful] •  Lower current web usage [access] 1: Knowledge & Social Context ”Life in your years not years in your life!” 14© Kelly Page 2: Know, Social Context & Sex ”Effect of Digital Media Knowledge on Perceptions of Digital Media is influenced more by being Female in Digital Design than Male.”
  8. 8. 10/31/10 8 15© Kelly Page 3. Perceptions. Sex. Gender ”Perceptions of Digital Media DO NOT SIG. DIFFER Between Users of Differing Biological Gender [sex]”   Sample recruited (n=191)   No Significant difference   Males/Female on Perceptions Ease/Use   Males/Females on Masculinity   Males/Females on Neutral   Significant Difference   Males/Females on Femininity (Females more) 16© Kelly Page 3. Perceptions. Sex. Gender ”Perceptions of Digital Media DO SIG. DIFFER According to a Users Gendered Identity”   Masculinity   Ease of Use – Overall; Learning Ease   Usefulness – Overall; Purchase; Communication   Femininity   Ease of Use – Overall; Purchase; Communication; Information Search   Usefulness – Purchase; Information Search
  9. 9. 10/31/10 9 17© Kelly Page In summary …   The differences in knowledge, perception and use of digital media is not JUST about  Being a man or a women …   It is more deeply about:  How we are socialised to see, think, be and interact as a man or a women in digital use, learning and design …  How we participate in this …  And how we each evolve … 18© Kelly Page Challenging the gendered frameworks in digital design! “To challenge continuing gender - norms, stereotypes, and identities - in digital design we need to firstly challenge the frameworks within which we each think about & debate them” (Adapted from: Jude Browne, 2007) Framework 1: My biological gender as a female or male is a simplified view of what I was born, excluding the complex nature of who I am, how I behave, how I see myself and how I respond to the world within which I coexist. - I’m a digital designer -
  10. 10. 10/31/10 10 19© Kelly Page Woman to Man: “You Make the Tea!” Man to Woman: “Ok. You Start the Digital Revolution!” 20© Kelly Page 2020 CONNECT T: @drkellypage T: @caseinsights FB: LinkedIn: Dr. Kelly Page (cc) Kelly Page
  11. 11. 10/31/10 11 21© Kelly Page 21 Sources   Page, K. and Uncle, M. 2004. Consumer web knowledge of the world wide web: Conceptualization and measurement. Psychology & Marketing 21(8), pp. 575-593.   Page-Thomas, K. 2006. Measuring task-specific perceptions of the world wide web. Behavior & Information technology 25(6), pp. 469-477.   Page, K. L., Robson, M., Uncles, M. D. (In-review 2010). The Social Context of Consumer Web Knowledge and Web Usability, Unpublished Manuscript in Review: Psychology & Marketing, (In review).   Page, K., Kasemsri Na Ayudhya, T., and Smith, J. (Ongoing) The Gendering of Digital Media Perceptions, Work-in-Progress - Unpublished Manuscript.   Browne, J., (2007) The Future of Gender, Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.   Lippa, R. A., (2002) Gender, Nature and Nurture, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, London.   Akman, I and Mishra, A. 2010. Gender, age and income differences in internet usage among employees in organizations. Computers in Human Behaviours 26(3), pp. 482-490.   Ozkan, T. and Lajunen, T. 2005. Masculinity, Femininity, and the Bem Sex Role Inventory in Turkey. Sex Roles 52(1), pp. 103-109. 22© Kelly Page 22 The content of this presentation is the property of shared interest between the author, Kelly Page and other parties who have contributed and/or provided support for the generation of the content detailed within. These contributing parties include, but are not limited to: Cardiff University (CU); University of New South Wales (UNSW); Cranfield University; Oxford University Press (OUP); Prentice Hall Publishing, and other commercial sponsors and research partners. Kelly Page (cc) 2010